Ready Steady Tokyo Day 3 - Rio Medallists on the Move
Racing on the Tokyo Olympic medal race course in Enoshima Japan, the Argentinian team of Santiago Lange & Cecilia Carranza Saroli, who captured the hearts of the world in Rio three years ago, could be on track for an epic repeat just one year out from the Tokyo 2020 games. Lange & Saroli were dynamic in the light and shifty conditions, sailing a tactically solid first two races and recovering from a deep top mark rounding to finish fourth in the third race of the day.
The Australian team of Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, who took home the silver medal at the Rio Games, put together the most consistent set of results over the four races to bring themselves within striking distance of the podium placings. John Gimson and Anna Burnet from Great Britain also produced excellent results in the first three races and spent much of it in a battle with the Argentinians. They scored a 2 – 2 – 1 mostly by playing the more consistent right side of the course, which was farther out to sea in the offshore breeze. In all three races, the British team won the boat end of the line and tacked right early to find clean lanes to the top mark.
Race one was dominated by Lange/Saroli, who took a three boat length lead at the first windward mark and extended that delta at every rounding. Gimson and Burnet finished a comfortable second while the regatta leaders Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) struggled in 7th.
The second race saw one of the tightest finishes of the regatta, with the Argentinians barely scraping through ahead of Gimson & Burnet and Waterhouse & Darmanin. After extending to a large lead on lap two of the three-lap course, Lange/Saroli rounded the final top mark with a 20-second lead, only to find themselves crossing behind Gimson/Burnet halfway down the run. With a more favourable port lay line into the pin end of the finish and both the British and Australians having to gybe into the finish at the boat end, it was enough to make it two wins from two races for the Rio champions. Post-race analysis on the SAP Sailing live tracking gives the gap between Lange/Saroli and Gimson/Burnet to be zero seconds with only two seconds back to Waterhouse/Darmanin.
As the breeze continued to drop in velocity and increase in variability, the opportunities and risks became more significant. Race three saw Gimson/Burnet and Waterhouse/Darmanin gap the fleet after the first lap only two be swallowed up by the fleet at the halfway mark. The final lap was a four-boat race between the early leaders with Lange/Saroli and Lin Ea Cenholt & Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN), with the British holding out for the wind ahead of Cenholt/Lubeck and Waterhouse/Darmanin.
In the final race of the day, it was multiple Olympic medallist Iker Martinez with crew Olha Maslivets from Spain who capitalised on a late right shift on the final windward beat to lead Tita & Banti into the finish. After the Italian’s lead for the first lap and a half, the final beat would prove decisive. Locking into some-what of a match race on the first half of the final beat, it was Martinez & Olha who split to the right, along with Waterhouse & Darmanin and Britain’s Ben Saxton & Nicola Boniface. As the breeze went hard right, it was those closest to the new breeze who capitalised before a somewhat progressive port tack run to the finish line.
“It was a really difficult day – really tiring for an old man!” said Lange. “It’s a shame we ruined the day a bit in the last race, but overall we are happy; we sailed well with some really good racing. It seems like sailing in Japan is about getting used to difficult conditions and performing. Today we were expecting the wind to die to a sea breeze, but actually, the last race was in some of the strongest winds. We need to be really focused to understand what the wind does every day, so we learn something for next year.”
How to Follow
Racing continues on Tuesday from 1200 local time with three races before the decisive medal race on Wednesday, scheduled for 1530.
SAP Sailing has volunteered their services this week in an unofficial capacity to provide Live tracking of all racing at Ready Steady Tokyo – Sailing.
Live Tracking – Tokyo2020.sapsailing.com
Photos & Results – Nacra17.org/events/2019-test-event
1st – Ruggero Tita & Caterina Banti (ITA) 26pts
2nd – Santiago Lange & Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) 31pts
3rd – John Gimson & Anna Burnet (GBR) 35pts
4th – Jason Waterhouse & Lisa Darmanin (AUS) 41pts
5th – Ben Saxton & Nicola Boniface (GBR) 43pts